Although the Lokad services themselves are closed source, all the integration components have been released as open source. The two upcoming products [Lokad Safety Stock Calculator](/blog/2008/2/5/drafting-safety-stock-calculator/) and Lokad Call Center Calculator are also developed as open source products.

For the Lokad customers, key benefits of open source components are

  • no spyware, no badware. We don’t ask you to trust us, you go and check the code yourself. We do our best to maintain a documented code, nothing gets buried in the dark.
  • greater control on your IT infrastructure. Having the source code means that you can’t be locked in (through proprietary file formats that could not be migrated for ex.).

Yet, as Jeff Atwood is pointing out, open source isn’t only about disclosing the source code. His definition of open source involve further requirements:

  • An OSI approved license. Lokad is using the (new) BSD license that allows code reuse into both closed and open source applications.
  • The project must use a commonly available method of public source control. Lokad is relying on the Subversion hosting of SourceForge.NET. Thus, Lokad can’t just take the code offline on its own.
  • The project must provide public evidence that it accepts and encourages code contributions from the outside world. Well, you can check the Ohloh page of Lokad to have a look to see how many people are involved in those projects.

Also, on a more technical side, we have also setup a public build server. Our continuous integration builds include unit testing, automated code guidelines validation, and documentation generation. Check it out!